SALT LAKE CITY — Here is a breakdown of the nine remaining criminal charges that jurors deliberated against former Utah Attorney General John Swallow as well as the four charges that prosecutors dropped during the course of the trial.
Count 1 — Not guilty
Pattern of unlawful activity, a second-degree felony: Prosecutors contend that Swallow was part of a conspiracy with former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and the late Tim Lawson to extort money and favors from Marc Sessions Jenson, a wealthy businessman who had reached a plea-in-abeyance deal with the attorney general’s office. Jenson paid for the three men to visit posh Pelican Hill resort in Southern California where he lived.
Shurtleff was the lead, Lawson the muscle and Swallow the money man to further their political and financial aspirations, prosecutors allege.
Defense attorney Scott Williams argues that the state “ambushed” the defense with the extortion theory just before the trial. He contends the charge is based only on the unreliable testimony from Jenson, a convicted felon. Jenson’s testimony focused more heavily on Shurtleff and Lawson than on Swallow during the trial.
Defense attorneys argue that the only evidence of an enterprise was phone contact between the three men, and Swallow didn’t know about some of the things Shurtleff and Lawson did.
Swallow made three trips to Pelican Hill in May, June and July of 2009, the last one being a getaway with his wife, Suzanne. Jenson reviewed receipts that he said Swallow billed to him, including hundreds of dollars for massages, food, golf balls, ball markers and apparel.
Swallow didn’t work in the attorney general’s office during the trips but was Shurtleff’s chief fundraiser for his political campaigns. But Jenson testified that Swallow told everyone at Pelican Hill that he would be joining the office as Shurtleff’s heir apparent. Shurtleff hired Swallow as his chief civil deputy in late 2009.
Count 2 — Not guilty
Accepting a gift, a second-degree felony: Prosecutors argue that Swallow accepted an illegal gift when he and his family used St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson’s luxury Lake Powell houseboat in fall 2010. Johnson contributed to Shurtleff’s re-election campaign and sought the attorney general’s opinion on processing online poker proceeds.
Swallow’s attorneys contend there was no value attached to using the houseboat because Johnson couldn’t legally rent it out anyway under federal law.
Count 3 — Not guilty
Receiving or soliciting a bribe, a second-degree felony: In 2011, Johnson approached attorney Travis Marker looking to help him resolve a civil lawsuit the Federal Trade Commission filed against him. That summer, Marker met with Swallow, whom Johnson said was a "family friend," three times about the FTC case.
Marker described Swallow as a "little bit nervous" over the meetings and being associated with Johnson because he was running for attorney general.
According to Marker, in a meeting at the state Capitol, Swallow said if Johnson had some more money, there might be some options. Marker said he recalled the figure was $120,000.
Marker testified that he was aware that Johnson had already paid money for someone to lobby the FTC on his behalf. He said Johnson, whose assets were frozen by the FTC, didn't have more money.
Under cross-examination, Marker said there was no specific discussion with Swallow about what the $120,000 would be used for and that it wasn’t a bribe. He said he brainstormed with Swallow but nothing came of their discussions. Swallow’s attorney argue that Swallow had no ability to influence the FTC.
Count 4 — Not guilty
Receiving or soliciting a bribe, a second-degree felony: Prosecutors allege Swallow financially benefited from a fundraising effort with Timothy and Jennifer Bell, who had sued Bank of America over its foreclosure practices in 2011. The attorney general's office was involved in the case at the time. It intervened in the case to prevent the bank from conducting nonjudicial foreclosures in Utah, representing thousands of Utahns whose property faced foreclosure.
Swallow also met with Bank of America lobbyists and told a division chief in the attorney general's office that he might have given the bank the impression that if the Bells' case was settled, the state would drop out of the lawsuit. The Bells later accepted a loan modification from the bank. Shurtleff pulled the state out of the lawsuit during his last days in office, saying it could cause problems for Swallow because of the fundraiser.
Tim Bell testified that Swallow didn’t realize the Bells hosting the fundraiser were the same couple involved in the lawsuit until they talked at the event in the Bells’ backyard.
On cross-examination, Tim Bell said there was no truth to the picture prosecutors were painting by suggesting the costly fundraiser was actually an effort to bribe Swallow for support in their case. "None whatsoever," he said.
Bell testified that he also made a cash contribution to the Swallow campaign, but the campaign returned the money, saying it was inappropriate because of the litigation.
Bell testified that the fundraiser occurred after he saw the lawsuit with Bank of America was won, but before settlement terms were finalized. However, he said, there was no involvement from the attorney general's office in the settlement.
Count 5 — Dropped
Receiving or soliciting a bribe, a second-degree felony: Prosecutors dropped this charge after imprisoned businessman Jeremy Johnson refused to testify.
Count 6 — Dropped
Money laundering, a second-degree felony: Prosecutors dropped this charge after Johnson refused to testify.
Count 7 — Not Guilty
False statements, a second-degree felony: Prosecutors allege Swallow lied in a 2013 deposition over whether he kept a paper calendar. They also say he lied about when he decided to run for attorney general because he was telling people he was Shurtleff’s heir-apparent long before he filed to run. The charge also relates to money received through an entity under his family trust.
Swallow’s attorneys say Swallow had a paper calendar in 2010 but not when they asked about his calendar in a 2013 deposition. They say Swallow wasn't running for attorney general until he filed a candidacy declaration and it doesn't matter what he told people before then.
Defense attorneys argue that the state inappropriately lumped alleged lies in the deposition into a single charge, and that they heard some of the specific allegations for the first time during the trial.
Count 8 — Dropped
Tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony: Prosecutors dropped this charge after Johnson refused to testify.
Count 9 — Not guilty
Tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony: The Bells' fundraiser for Swallow's 2012 attorney general campaign cost $28,000 to put on but Swallow reported it on campaign finance disclosures as a $15,000 in-kind donation and then as a $1,000 donation at the direction of his campaign workers, prosecutors say. He later amended it again to reflect the full amount.
Defense attorneys argue that the law allows amendments to campaign finance reports. Former Swallow campaign staffers testified that he didn’t ask them to do anything illegal.
Prosecutors also allege that Swallow purposefully deleted work emails. Swallow’s lawyers argue that he lost the emails when the state migrated to a new system and that he attempted to retrieve the data.
Count 10 — Dropped
Tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony: Prosecutor dropped this charge related to Swallow allegedly intentionally deleting work emails.
Count 11 — Not guilty
Misuse of public money, a third-degree felony: Prosecutors claim Swallow asked the state’s IT department to replace a broken screen on his personal laptop at the cost of about $196. Defense attorneys counter that Swallow asked whether it could be fixed and the state approved the expenditure after running it up the chain. They say Swallow also used the laptop for work.
Count 12 — Not guilty
Obstruction of justice, a third-degree felony: Prosecutors allege Swallow misled FBI investigators in an interview, including about the purposes for trips to Pelican Hill and who paid for the flight. Swallow also allegedly lied that he had walled himself off from the Jenson criminal case when he joined the attorney general's office as its chief civil deputy. Defense attorneys contend the state is depending on the agents to construe what Swallow said and didn't identify exact statements he made. The state didn't introduce a transcript so jurors would not be able to tell what is true, according to the defense.
Count 13 — Not guilty
Falsifying government records, a class B misdemeanor
Prosecutors allege Swallow failed to list on his candidate financial disclosure form a company he owned called P Solutions. He then changed the name of the registered agent and manager to his wife, Suzanne. He filed a second financial disclosure but did not list P Solutions or money he received through the company.
Defense attorneys argue Swallow was on the phone with his attorney as he filed to understand what he did or didn’t have to disclose. They also say the state elections office told him the law allows the form to be amended and nothing on the form is false.